I’ve been thinking, once again, about doll-making.
I have a friend, known as Vox Mortuum, who describes herself in her marvelous blog as a Gonzo Hooker. The art of crochet is her passion, and she channels that passion into creations that are sometimes exquisite, sometimes endearing, but always impressive. Dolls are a particular specialty of hers; she’s still (I think!) taking a few commissions this year, and I’m sorely tempted.
My wish to purchase, though, however strong, is not so keenly felt as my wish to create.
I have a list — calling it a bucket list might be overstating it a bit — of creative endeavors that I would love to include in my repertoire. Most of my family and friends would tell you that my art is music. Well, true enough, and that’s what all those certificates on my studio wall would tell you. If I were to stand up and say, “I am also a writer,” they might say something like, Okay, yes, you do write well. Oh, and you say you’ve published a few little things? That’s nice. Did you get paid? Well…that’s still nice. If I were to then add (perhaps mumbling by now, not meeting any eyes), “I’m an actor, too,” the consensus might be, What? Really? Okay, you acted enough in high school to get into the International Thespian Society, but what have you done lately? That opera in college? But that was music, yes? We know you’re a musician, we know you’re a singer…Well, yes, you do read aloud beautifully; you’re calling that acting? You’re an actor?
I’m a calligrapher, too — but my baselines aren’t very even.
I’m also a dancer — not always such a graceful one, certainly not the most limber or physically fit, but oh, how I do enjoy it!
And yes, I’m a doll-maker — I made a rag doll once. The stitches were woefully clumsy, and it couldn’t stand up to more than a few hours of actually being played with by a child, but it had the sweetest face…
What I’ve learned, over the years, is that any creative act is a win. It’s wonderful to strive for mastery, to work hard and get really good at something, but I don’t think we should let lack of mastery stop us from playing.
Who knows, maybe someday I’ll let myself do the playing with clay that I’ve been contemplating, off and on, for years. Then, I’ll be a potter and/or a sculptor — a very primitive one, perhaps, but still!